Dracula is a novel written by Bram Stoker during the late 1800’s. The book starts out with Jonathan Harker, who is a smart young business man, who wants to travel to Count Dracula for a business ordeal. Many locals from the European area warned Jonathan about Count Dracula, and would offer him crosses and other trinkets to help fend against him. Mina, who is at the time Jonathans soon to be wife, visits to catch up with an old friend named Lucy Westenra. Lucy gives Mina an update on her love life telling her how she’s been proposed to by three different men. The men are introduced as Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and Quincey Morris. Unfortunately for her she will need to reject two of the men, and Lucy ends up choosing to marry Holmwood. Later on after Mina visits Lucy, Lucy starts to sleep walk, becomes sick, and then finds out she has bite marks on her throat. Due to this incident, another new character is introduced who happens to be Van Helsing. As the novel progresses, lady vampires are introduced and Lucy is eventually turned into one of the lady vampires as well. With the introduction of female vampires, the novel Dracula turns into a sexual and sensational novel by Bram Stoker. The female characters in the book are overly sexualized to where we can compare it to how women are viewed from back then in history to today’s world.
In the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, we are introduced to two specific ladies that are essential to the essence of this gothic, horror novel. These two women are Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra. The purpose for these two women was for Stoke to clearly depict the two types of women: the innocent and the contaminated. In the beginning, the women were both examples of the stereotypical flawless women of this time period. However, as the novel seems to progress, major differences are bound to arise. Although both women, Lucy and Mina, share the same innocent characteristics, it’s more ascertain that with naïve and inability of self control, Lucy creates a boundary that shows the difference between these two ladies and ultimately causes her
In Dracula, Stoker portrays the typical women: The new woman, the femme fatale and the damsel in distress, all common concepts in gothic literature. There are three predominant female roles within Dracula: Mina Murray, Lucy Westenra and the three vampire brides, all of which possess different attributes and play different roles within the novel. It is apparent that the feminine portrayal within this novel, especially the sexual nature, is an un-doubtable strong, reoccurring theme.
Though it appears on the surface to be an engaging horror story about a blood-sucking Transylvanian man, upon diving deeper into Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, one can find issues of female sexuality, homoeroticism, and gender roles. Many read Dracula as an entertaining story full of scary castles, seductive vampires, and mysterious forces, yet at the same time, they are being bombarded with descriptions of sex, images of rape, and homosexual relationships. In Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, Stoker's presentation of homoeroticism is taken, reworked, and presented in a different, stronger light. Coppola does much in the area of emphasizing a homoerotic relationship between Mina Harker and Lucy Westerna: a relationship Bram Stoker
Dracula is a novel that indulges its male reader’s imagination, predominantly on the topic of female sexuality. When Dracula was first published, Victorian women’s sexual behaviour was extremely restricted by social expectations. To be classed as respectable, a women was either a virgin or a wife. If she was not either, she was considered a whore. We begin to understand once Dracula arrives in Whitby, that the novel has an underlying battle between good and evil, which will hinge on female sexuality. Both Lucy Westenra and Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray embody two-dimensional virtues that have been associated with female. They are both virgins, whom are innocent from the evils of the world and that are devoted to their men. Dracula’s arrival threatens those virtues, threatening to turn Lucy and Mina into the opposites, noted for their voluptuousness, which could lead to an open sexual desire.
The behaviors and characteristics of Mina Harker, along with the transformation she undergoes when coming into contact with the Count, play a crucial role in helping Stoker break down separate spheres. Her connection to the Count is what lifts her outside of her domestic sphere. The men depend on Mina to be able to hunt down the Count. Without her help, they would not be successful. In a sense, this helps Stoker give women a more dominant role in the novel. While separate spheres hold women to be domestic figures confined to housework and completely submissive, Stoker pushes this ideology away by making the men submissive instead. For example, Jonathan Harker writes in his journal about Mina saying, “She was so good and brave that we all felt that our hearts were strengthened to work and endure for her, and we began to discuss what we were to do” (Stoker 250). Through
Almost every sin imaginable is included in this text if one were to interpret Bram Stoker’s writing to be as such. The glaring Christianity, coded sexual innuendo, and the vampire stereotype still attracts many to this novel. Despite the Victorian era’s social expectations of a woman, gluttony and lust are the two most abundant and greatly detailed sins alive in this text and usually descriptively, if not symbolically intertwined. The female characters of this novel lavishly display their sexual and physical appetites throughout the novel thus tempting the male figures. Mina and Lucy are portrayed in opposition to both each other and societal norms, in the nineteenth century and these traits are still displayed today in the twenty-first century. Voraciousness and Lust as portrayed through vampirism in Dracula details the dichotomy of Bram Stoker and of all men; which wife would a man want to have, the smart maternal plump woman or the fanciful beautiful thin woman.
Whereas Lucy portrays the ?New Woman? with her sexual tendencies and flirtatiousness, Mina represents the ?New Woman? through her intelligence. She is an assistant schoolmistress, knows how to write in shorthand, and shows interest in learning how to use the phonograph, one of the new technologies of the time. She says, ?I shall try to do what I see lady journalists do: interviewing and writing descriptions and trying to remember conversations?with a little practice, one can remember all that goes on or that one hears said during one day? (Stoker 76). Mina is trying to learn a trade, and reverse the male ideology that only men can have jobs. Furthermore, like Lucy, Mina is also loyal to one man, Jonathan Harker. Mina wants to marry Jonathan and settle down. She writes to Lucy, "When we are married I shall be able to be useful to Jonathan, and if I can stenograph well enough I can take down what he wants to say in this way and write it out for him on the typewriter" (Stoker 75). In this example,
Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is a story about a Vampire named Count Dracula and his journey to satisfy his lust for blood. The story is told through a series of individuals’ journal entries and a letters sent back and forth between characters. Bram Stoker shows the roll in which a certain gender plays in the Victorian era through the works of Dracula. This discussion not only consists of the roll a certain gender takes, but will be discussing how a certain gender fits into the culture of that time period as well as how males and females interact among each other. The Victorian era was extremely conservative when it came to the female, however there are signs of the changing into the New Woman inside of Dracula. Essentially the woman was to be assistance to a man and stay pure inside of their ways.
In his Literary Theory: The Basics, H. Bertens classifies stereotypes of women in literature into a number of categories; dangerous seductress, self-sacrificing angel, dissatisfied shrew, and defenseless lamb, completely incapable of self-sufficiency, or self-control, and dependent on male intervention. Bertens concludes that the primary objective of these women – or “constructions” – is to serve a “not-so-hidden purpose: the continued cultural and social domination of males”. One such novel that came under feminist scrutiny for these particular reasons was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, although this perlustration didn’t occur until 70 years after Stoker originally penned his masterpiece. However, during the mid-1960s, the rise of the feminist
This passage characterizes Mina’s obedience to her spouse Johnathan, and introduces her as the modest woman. Lucy Westenra represents the sexual woman. In her second letter to Mina, she tells of the three marriage proposals that have come to her in one day, and the results of each. She has turned down two men, and accepted the last, but feels badly about having to turn down two of her suitors. She proclaims, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?” (61). From this passage, it can be assumed that Lucy desires sexual relationship with all three men, as that is the result of marriage. Here lies the main difference between the two women. In the end Mina benefits from her domesticity and life of service to men. Lucy, on the other hand, is deviate from social norms, and in turn suffers the consequences for her own sexual aptitude. Dracula’s deadly bite does not harm Mina due to her morals dictating that she continues to live as a human. Dracula soon disappears from the scene, and Mina enjoys her marriage and bears a child. However, Lucy is not as lucky. She is described as a sexual monster after her death. It is believed her sexuality that sealed her fate. It is clear that this is a statement about not only the roles of women in society, but also about the fears of society. The good Victorian woman, represses her sexual desires and will lead a respectable life.
The relationship that exists between gender, sexuality and sexual practice is one that is not static, but is ever changing and shifting dependent upon the society in which it exists (Brickell, 2007). This essay aims to describe how Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula, presents a “characteristic, if hyperbolic, instance of Victorian anxiety over the potential fluidity of gender roles” (Craft, 111-112), whilst also inverting and subverting conventional Victorian gender patterns through the characterisation and portrayal of the vampire women residing in Count Dracula’s castle, Mina, and Lucy as well as the ‘feminine’ passivity and submissive depiction of Jonathan Harker.
In the late 19th century, when Dracula by Bram Stoker is written, women were only perceived as conservative housewives, only tending to their family’s needs and being solely dependent of their husbands to provide for them. This novel portrays that completely in accordance to Mina Harker, but Lucy Westenra is the complete opposite. Lucy parades around in just her demeanor as a promiscuous and sexual person. While Mina only cares about learning new things in order to assist her soon-to-be husband Jonathan Harker. Lucy and Mina both become victims of vampirism in the novel. Mina is fortunate but Lucy is not. Overall, the assumption of women as the weaker specimen is greatly immense in the late 19th century. There are also many underlying
Mina’s conscious rejection can also be thought of as Stokers thoughts on the subject, further pointing to the belief that Stoker was against the sexual openness in the movement, however Mina’s
Lucy and Mina are very crucial in the short story since they are the only protagonist females and characters the author uses to portray the roles of women in the Victorian Era. Stoker juxtaposes the two women to illustrate and compare the groupings of ladies that existed during Victorian Era. The novel presents the intelligent,